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Lust For Life

173 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Lust For Life (DVD)

Vibrant orange sunflowers. Rippling yelow grain. Trees bursting with white bloom. "The pictures come to me as in a dream," Vincent Van Gogh said. A dream that too often turned to life-shattering nightmare. Winner of Golden Globe, Kirk Douglas gives a fierce portrayal as the artist torn between the joyous inspiration of his genius and the dark desperation of his tormented mind. The obsessed Van Gogh painted the way other men breathe, driving away family and friends, including artist Paul Gauguin (1956 Best Supporting Actor Academy Award winner Anthony Quinn). Directed by Vincente Minnelli and saturated with the hues of Van Gogh's sea, field and sky, Lust for Lifecaptures the ecstasy of art. And the agony of one man's life.


Special Features

  • Theatrical trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn, James Donald, Pamela Brown, Everett Sloane
  • Directors: Vincente Minnelli
  • Producers: John Houseman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 31, 2006
  • Run Time: 122 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (173 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000BYA4HY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,950 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Lust For Life" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Michael Birman TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 2, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Lust for Life based on Irving Stone's novel about Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) was filmed in 1956 and directed by Vincente Minnelli. Kirk Douglas as Vincent crackles with intensity. He won a Golden Globe award for his portrayal; depicting Van Gogh's artistic growth, deep loneliness and inevitable descent into madness with sensitivity and pathos. It is a moving performance that, along with Spartacus and Paths of Glory, is one of his best. Anthony Quinn as Paul Gauguin won a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award. James Donald is especially touching as Vincent's loving Brother Theo. The film features a powerful and poignant musical score by the great film and Classical Music composer Miklos Rozsa, composer of music for Ben-Hur, Double Indemnity, Ivanhoe and The Lost Weekend amongst many others. This film is, along with John Huston's Moulin Rouge made in 1952 about the life of Toulouse-Latrec, one of my favorite Hollywood films about an artist.

As soon as the titles appear on this recently released DVD you are aware of the superb transfer to disc. Written with Van Gogh's trademark thick impasto technique, they leap off the screen with 3-dimensional brilliance, breathtakingly alive. This is important because the film contains dozens of Van Gogh's most famous art works, all filmed from the originals in the possession of private collectors and museums. With their thick swirls of color and movement, the images are stunningly beautiful; making the DVD of the film a living art gallery. This was worth the price of the DVD for me. I wish there was some way each one of the paintings could have been bookmarked on the DVD to make them easier to find. Alas no.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Alejandra Vernon HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 1, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
With an uncanny resemblance to the self-portraits of Vincent Van Gogh, Kirk Douglas is perfect for this detailed and wonderful production of the artist's life; it's a passionate performance of a troubled soul, whose creative urges battled with his mental illness.
The film has an intelligent script by Norman Corwin, based on Irving Stone's biographical novel. It picks up the story around 1879, when Van Gogh was 26 years old, and went to minister (unsuccessfully) to the coal miners of a destitute area, and from there takes us through his many different abodes, his relationship with "Christine", who is well played by Pamela Brown, and the flourishing of his art in his last 15 years of life.
The art direction is superb, and the recreations of the places Van Gogh painted a marvel, among them the famous yellow house he lived in and its bedroom, and my favorite, the pool hall, with its hanging lamps.
The cinematography by Freddy Young and Russell Harlan is terrific, and we get many full screen views of the original paintings, many of them lesser known pieces from private collections.
This was a multi-award winning film, and garnered an Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Anthony Quinn, who is fabulous as Paul Gauguin, whose personality was the complete opposite of his friend Van Gogh; the ego clashes when they attempted to live together are well illustrated in several scenes, and with a little addition to his nose, Quinn has been made to look exactly like Gauguin's famous self-portrait with the snake.
James Donald is excellent as Vincent's patient and generous brother, who was Van Gogh's central means of support for most of his lifetime, both financially and of his paintings.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Linda McDonnell on August 6, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
I would wager that this is really the best work Vincente Minnelli ever did, in spite of his reputation as the famous director of MGM Judy Garland musicals. "Lust for Life" has a power and pathos to it that is seldom matched in biographical movies. The story of Vincent Van Gogh's struggle to paint and find companionship is beautifully brought to life here. And of course, that is due to superstar Kirk Douglas' intensity as the tortured artist. The scenes he plays with Anthony Quinn's Paul Gaugin are so touching, as even Gaugin (a very hard person) must acknowledge how sad Vincent's longing for a friend is.Highlighting the film also are the color depictions of many of Van Gogh's canvases, raw in color and emotion, a testament to a man who didn't know how to do anything by halves, but gave his whole heart and soul to everything he did and everyone he loved, whether reciprocated or not.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin J Burgraff VINE VOICE on January 3, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Lust for Life", Vincente Minnelli's rich interpretation of Irving Stone's Vincent Van Gogh bio-novel, is a film both compelling and repelling; in delving into the psyche of the artist (unforgettably portrayed by Kirk Douglas), one can see an untrained, unbridled genius smashing convention to open viewers' eyes to a world defined by passion; yet in doing so, we share in the growing nightmares and agony of his creative mind, teetering toward the madness that would destroy him, and it is an unsettling experience, to be sure!

This is a film so rich in visual imagery (with a Technicolor 'palette' that attempts to recreate Van Gogh's view of his world), that it demands repeated viewings, just to savor the details. From wheat fields 'aflame' in color, to night skies that nearly writhe in waves of darkness, the elemental nature of the artist's vision is spectacularly captured. And in experiencing the world through his eyes, the loving, yet uncomprehending concern of his brother (James Donald), and more hedonistic, shallow patronizing, and gradual disgust of fellow artist Paul Gauguin (Anthony Quinn, in his Oscar-winning performance), become elemental 'barriers', as well. Van Gogh wants to 'speak', but no one can understand his 'language', not even the artist, himself!

This film deserves a wealth of bonus features, yet the DVD offers only a very dry audio commentary, by film historian Dr. Drew Casper, which sounds like one of those college lectures I used to sleep through! MGM produced a wonderful documentary, when the film was made, about the production, locations, and reactions of locals, who knew Van Gogh, of Kirk Douglas' dead-on appearance and portrayal. Why this was not included is a mystery, as it provides the kind of insights Casper's comments don't!
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